June 16, 2024


You are Your Only Limit

At the intersection of artwork and science

5 min read

Ph.D. student Maria Park’s fascination with the residing earth informs her science and evokes her resourceful endeavors.

Maria Park

Maria Park spends her times researching tree communities. The Ecology, Evolution and Actions Ph.D. scholar is a maintain observer of nature who turns people observations into insights about how trees impact a single one more. Her love of character and penchant for searching closely at the globe all around her commenced early and fed a lifelong interest in equally science and artwork. Park, who is a trained artist and serves as a educating assistant for the University’s Artwork and Ecology program in addition to her get the job done in the Cavender-Bares lab, made the artwork for the college’s yr-finish card. She used normal pigments to develop a scene featuring  species found in the Forests and Biodiversity experiment at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, in which Maria investigates how tree group composition influences the development and worry of trees.

Can you say a little bit about your area of review and how you obtained involved?
I have constantly been curious about how the pure world operates. I enjoy checking out outdoor, and am fascinated by the complexity and splendor of the diverse lifeforms that inhabit Earth. We, individuals, are so deeply interconnected with our non-human neighbors. Figuring out this, and recognizing how seriously we are impacting the world’s ecosystems motivates me to better recognize and steward the ecological systems we are aspect of.

I am at the moment a Ph.D. pupil in the Ecology, Evolution, and Conduct application at UMN, as  part of the Cavender-Bares Lab. I examine how plants grow and interact with each individual other in the context of forest communities (plant ecophysiology). I am interested in how tree community composition impacts resource availability, anxiety, and progress of person trees. Fundamentally, I am functioning to recognize how trees affect other trees in their neighborhood by altering the community availability of mild, drinking water, and vitamins and minerals. I hope that this perform can someday support tell conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of our forest ecosystems.

When and how did you first get fascinated in artwork? What appeals to you about it?
I have been drawing at any time considering the fact that I could keep a pencil in my hand, and taking part in new music given that I could plunk notes on a piano. Artwork has generally been a way for me to notice, interpret, and study about nature. I have located artwork to be a language that can transcend borders, cultural discrepancies, and political leanings. Artwork, in all its kinds, can provide joy and pain, grief and enlightenment. Art will help people today make perception of the planet around us, and hook up with just about every other. Now is an enjoyable time to be producing art, as the definitions and boundaries of art are staying shattered and expanded upon. I find myself at the intersections of visual and auditory media, local community engagement, activism, and all-all around experimentation. I do not need to be constrained by disciplines. Art is a practice that enables me to weave jointly the numerous sides of who I am, providing me the freedom to link and understand from every person all around me.

How do artwork and science intersect for you?
As a child, I would doodle canines, deer, flowers, cardinals, and bluejays. As a faculty student in biology labs, I would sketch labeled diagrams for organisms including crops, birds, and maritime invertebrates. 

As a school student in art classes, I would each paint and have out social experiments with the trees I was researching. As a post-graduate fellow in the Seychelles island archipelago, I did marine conservation (corals! turtles! tortoises!). I also collaborated with Seychellois artists, listening to stories of local Seychellois to comprehend and doc how weather transform and other components are shifting their environments, cultures, and societies. In return for the stories, we established personalised paintings and images for our interviewees. This collaboration was exhibited in the Seychelles Biennale of Contemporary Arts 2022. 

As a Ph.D. scholar, I collaborate with art professor Christine Baeumler, forestry professor Rebecca Montgomery, and other users of the academic and community communities to follow socially engaged artwork. We goal to deliver consciousness of how weather alter and human disturbances are shifting ecosystems, and build a collective comprehension of how we can most effective steward our local landscapes and waterscapes. Recently, I have been experimenting with building pigments and portray with foraged normal elements. I thank artist Kimberly Boustead for bringing me into this realm of artistic, ecological, and chemical experimentation!

What is your preferred detail to attract and/or paint?
I have a watercolor journal that I convey with me when I go examine new spots. When I arrive at a put that phone calls to me, I will plop down or stand anywhere is most hassle-free, and do a swift plein air portray of my surroundings. There are normally individuals touring with me, so I try not to make them hold out much too very long for my portray session. This time strain forces me to target, be truly in the instant, in the position, in time. I do really like when curious people, frequently young children, appear up to me and talk to what I am carrying out! The act of portray in general public opens the doorway for entertaining, spontaneous human connection, at times communicated in non-English languages. In the conclude, the paintings capture what I obtain to be attention-grabbing – my observations and interpretations of a position. These paintings are my way of documenting everyday living experiences and fleeting moments as a visual memory.

Maria’s site/a lot more information about the procedure at the rear of building the card

Artist Kimberly Boustead’s web-site


Painting by Maria Park

On the deal with: trees (from left to appropriate): Jack pine (Pinus banksiana), northern red oak (Quercus rubra), American basswood (Tilia americana), paper birch (Betula papyrifera) mushrooms: Amanita sp. birds: Cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) border: Furry vetch (Vicia villosa)

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